Prep Football Preview: All eyes on three Twin Harbors teams in state quarterfinals

Montesano plays at No. 1 Royal; PWV and RSB to square off at Rottle Field

The eyes of prep football fans on the Twin Harbors will be set upon three teams this weekend.

Pacific County rivals Pe Ell-Willapa Valley and Raymond-South Bend square off in the 2B State quarterfinals while the Montesano Bulldogs hope to pull off another upset of a state No. 1 when they travel to face Royal in a 1A quarterfinal matchup.


When and where: 1 p.m. Saturday at Royal High School

Players to watch: Montesano — Mateo Sanchez C/LB, Jayden McElravy QB/LB, Kaleb Ames WR/DB, Gabe Bodwell RB/DL. Royal — Dylan Allred QB/LB, Kaleb Hernandez RB; Edgar Delarosa WR.

There are three certainties in life — death, taxes and Montesano and Royal football teams qualifying for the state tournament.

When No. 8 Monte travels east to take on No. 1 Royal on Saturday, it will be a meeting of two programs that have reliably punched their tickets to the state tournament for the past decade-plus.

Monte (9-2 overall) is in the midst of making 16-straight state appearances while the Knights (9-1) have won five of the past six state championships.

The 2022 iterations of the two respected programs feature two teams that rely on their defense first and foremost.

Aside from a 21-14 loss to Lynden Christian in Week 4, Royal has not allowed more than seven points in any game and is allowing a paltry 4.6 points per game this season.

The defending champs are also balanced on offense, with quarterback Dylan Allred throwing for 1,691 passing yards and running back Kaleb Hernandez rushing for 784 yards entering last week’s 41-7 drubbing of No. 19 Cascade Christian.

Monte looked to be in excellent form in jumping out to a 21-7 halftime lead last week against a fast and athletic Toppenish team before holding off a second-half surge for a 24-22 win.

The Bulldogs defense forced four turnovers in the game, including two fourth-quarter interceptions, to secure the victory.

Penalties have been a problem for the Bulldogs and that trend continued against the Wildcats.

One potential Bulldogs touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty and additional yellow flags stunted promising Bulldogs possessions.

Monte is averaging 65 penalty-yards per game this season.

Montesano has rushed for 2,915 yards as a team this year led by quarterback Jayden McElravy (119 carries, 876 yards, 20 TD) and running backs Gabe Bodwell (88-723, 14 TD) and Ethan Blundred (96-655, 8 TD).

Defensively, the Bulldogs average 2.8 takeaways and are allowing 214 yards a game against a schedule that featured three top-10 teams and three 2A Evergreen Conference opponents.

Senior middle linebacker Mateo Sanchez has had an outstanding season with a team-leading 118 tackles and eight sacks.

Monte is no stranger to playing the state’s No.1 team on the road as the Bulldogs upset then-No. 1 Eatonville in convincing fashion 42-21 on Oct. 7.

Montesano had arguably its best all-around performance in that game and if McElravy, Sanchez and company perform at a similar level, they’ll have a shot at upsetting another No. 1. This time with a whole lot more at stake.


When and where: 7 p.m. Friday at Jack Rottle Field, Montesano

Players to watch: RSB — Austin Snodgrass QB/DB, Ty Reidinger RB/LB, Ferrill Johnson RB. PWV — Kolten Fluke QB/LB, Blake Howard RB/LB, Derek Fluke RB/LB.

One of Pacific County’s powerhouse prep football teams will advance to the 2B State semifinals.

Question is, which one?

When No. 6 Raymond-South Bend faces No. 3 Pe Ell-Willapa Valley on Friday in Montesano it will be the two Central-North League-rivals’ second meeting of the season.

RSB (9-2) was riding a six-game win streak to start the season and a No. 5 state ranking before suffering a humbling 28-14 loss to the Titans (8-3) in which PWV shut out RSB in the second half.

After a 54-0 loss to No. 1 Napavine the following week, RSB has won three straight games, including a 22-7 win over No. 11 Goldendale in arguably the Ravens’ best defensive performance of the season.

RSB has over 3,200 rushing yards as a team this season, averaging 292 yards per game led by the three-headed monster of quarterback Austin Snodgrass (87 carries, 953 yards, 18 TD) and running backs Ty Reidinger (173-996, 10 TD) and Ferrill Johnson (76-745, 12 TD).

While RSB has been busy playing its schedule since the loss to PWV, the Titans have barely taken the field, playing in just one game — a 54-0 win over Adna in the district crossover game two week ago — over the past four weeks.

PWV had to sit at home as two of its opponents forfeited previously-scheduled games against the Titans and — as the state’s No. 3 seed — PWV earned a first-round bye in the state tournament.

Rust didn’t appear to be a factor against Adna as the Titans led the Pirates 47-0 at halftime, scoring 40 points in the second quarter alone.

PWV was led by quarterback Kolten Fluke, who threw for 100 yards and three touchdowns in the first half and was voted the WaFd Bank Washington High School Athlete of the Week for his efforts.

The Titans have allowed more than 20 points in a game just once this season — a 46-6 loss to Napavine — and is giving up just 7.5 points per game during its current six-game winning streak (including two forfeiture victories).

PWV solved the explosive, big-play ability of the Ravens offense in their first meeting. This game might come down to if it can do it a second time around.

Raymond-South Bend running back Ferrill Johnson (10) turns the corner during a 54-0 win over Adna in the 2B State playoffs last week. The Ravens will face league-rival Pe Ell-Willapa Valley in the state quarterfinals on Friday in Montesano.

PHOTO BY LARRY BALE Raymond-South Bend running back Ferrill Johnson (10) turns the corner during a 54-0 win over Adna in the 2B State playoffs last week. The Ravens will face league-rival Pe Ell-Willapa Valley in the state quarterfinals on Friday in Montesano.